Hiking maps go mobile: Feds unveil digital backcountry guides – Alaska Dispatch News

Hiking maps have gone mobile. The feds have unveiled digital back country guides. Now, if you are navigating your way through the back country of Alaska, you will be better off. The digital m,aps are free and users can use their smart phone to download them. The app hooks up to the GPS to show you where you are.

Key Takeaways:

  • The app can use GPS technology to show the user’s location on the map, even if that person is without cellphone service, said Lisa Gleason, a BLM Alaska spokeswoman.
  • BLM Alaska started working on the suite of digital maps about two years ago in response to public interest in mobile access to maps of public lands, Gleason said
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey has partnered with several agencies since 2013 on the Alaska Mapping Initiative, producing digital topographic maps of the state with multiple layers of information, said Mark Newell, a USGS spokesman.

“She described the new technology as a “lighten-the-load solution” for hikers who will have to carry one less thing if they opt for the digital maps. However, she said, the maps are just “one tool” for navigating the backcountry.”